As part of our training program, once a week we do a track workout. These are geared to building strength and working on running form and things like that. For those of us in San Francisco we head out to the track at Kezar Stadium which is a former home of the San Francisco 49ers, and now is a track open to the public. I’ve lived in this city for over ten years and this was the first time I’ve been to Kezar.
The Team in Training run groups including marathons and half marathons train together here and to begin Coach Joe had us run hill repeats in the Haight. I had never heard of hill repeats before but I’m sure I won’t forget they are now. We began at the foot of a steep block (our city has many hills) and he had us run up the hill, then circle the block, and do it again. A total of seven times. After the first time my quads were already burning and I still had several to go. Coming up to the top of the hill where it flattened out felt so good each time and in some way I feel I run faster on the flat surface than had I not just run up a steep hill. It’s like the hills get my legs into fifth gear and then when I’m on the flatter surface I can really cruise.
After the last hill repeat, we ran back to Kezar Stadium where we ran four laps (one mile) at a race pace. The last time I ran on a track where I was being timed was back in high school where we were being timed for the mile. I don’t remember my time back then but I think it was around 6:49. This week I was at 8:30.
We ended the workout with some stretching which always feels good, and for a small group of us we carried on over to Kezar pub where we discussed running and other topics over a pint of beer (or two). Coach Joe lost a bet recently which prevents him from enjoying a beer at Kezar pub during the month of February. So he was well hydrated by the end of the night.